The cost of having the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources pickup and dispose of dead deer last year was $701,000. Governor Scott Walker’s new state budget would delete that money. Instead, other government agencies may have to remove the dead deer or they may be left uncollected.
In rural areas, deer that have been killed by traffic have been left and have become food for other wildlife.
There were 17,766 traffic collisions in Wisconsin last year, according to information from the Department of Transportation. Those accidents resulted in 407 people being injured and nine deaths.
Under the new changes in the state budget the DNR or local law enforcement is required to collect the dead deer.
“Wisconsin is a tourist state, especially as you get up north, and I think it does send the wrong message to have these decaying disgusting deer along the side of the road,” said Rep. John Nygren, the co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee. The Marinette Republican said he’s inclined to make sure the state still pays for deer removal.
Drivers who strike deer in the roadway no longer need to notify local law enforcement, provided the damaged to the vehicle is less than $1,000, or there are injuries.
If a motorist wants to keep the deer carcass, all they need to do is to is call the DNR at 608-267-7691 to report that they are taking the carcass. The call must be made before the deer can be removed.
According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau data, 301 car killed deer were removed in St. Croix County in the fiscal year 2013-14 at a cost of $11,800.
“We feel there are adequate (Department of Transportation) and local resources to assure that deer are pulled off the road or removed entirely in a timely fashion,” DNR spokesman Bill Cosh said.